Colo. needs 96,000 jobs to regain pre-recession composure

In the past year Colorado has added more than 44,000 jobs, but it’s not enough to get the state back to its pre-recession days, according to the November Mountain States regional economy report released today.

The state’s leading economic indicator, based on a monthly survey of supply managers in the state, advanced for November, according to the Denver-based Goss Institute for Economic Research.  The overall Business Conditions Index expanded to 56.2 from October’s 53.3, which is credited to new orders at 56.7, production or sales at 62.3, delivery lead time at 52.5, inventories at 53.4, and employment at 56.2.

But, even with the small gains, the state has a long way to go to be back to its 2007 days of employment.

“Since employment bottomed out in January 2010, Colorado has added more than 44,000 jobs,” said Ernie Goss, director of the institute. “However, even with this gain, the state needs to add another 96,000 jobs to return to its pre-recession level.”

Non-durable goods producers reported growth while durable goods manufacturers detailed pullbacks for the month, he said. Both manufacturers and non-manufacturers in the state continue to depend more heavily on expanding the average length of the work week rather than increasing employment.

The Goss Institute conducts the monthly survey for Supply Management Institutes in the three states comprising the Mountain States region.

Across the Mountain States Region – Colorado, Utah and Wyoming — there are signs of economic improvement, according to the report. Highlights for the region include: Over the next 6 months, more than one-third of firms expect to add workers, 13 percent anticipate layoffs and the remaining 52 percent look for level employment; approximately one-third of supply managers expect a 2012 recession; overall, supply mangers anticipate wholesale price growth of 4 percent over the next six months or approximately 8 percent on an annualized basis.

“As in past months, firms closely linked to energy or agriculture and those dependent on exports continue to report solid growth,” Goss said. “The Mountain States regional economy, unlike that of the U.S., shows little evidence of an economic slowdown.”

Read the full report: